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eBay Acquires Visual Search Startup Corrigon

By Evan Niu, CFA – Oct 6, 2016 at 3:40PM

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Image processing will be a key part of improving search for e-retailer.

Image source: eBay.

What happened?

Online auctioneer eBay (EBAY -2.03%) has announced that it plans to acquire Corrigon, a small Israel-based company that specializes in visual search technologies. Corrigon was founded in 2009 and uses image recognition to offer brand monitoring, visual search, and copyright management services. eBay notes that this is the third acquisition in 2016 intended to improve eBay's data chops. The earlier acquisitions this year were SalesPredict and Expertmaker.

While eBay did not disclose financial terms of the deal, TechCrunch is reporting that the price tag was $30 million, citing a local Israeli newspaper.

Does it matter?

Growth has slowed at eBay recently, with revenue rising a modest 6% last quarter to $2.2 billion. By adding a specialized team for image processing and computer vision, eBay can dramatically improve its search functionalities so that customers can better find what they're looking for. The company is interested in image recognition, classification, and enhancements to improve the user experience.

This is all part of eBay's broader structured data strategy that started earlier this year. Data is the foundation of search, which makes it easier for people to buy stuff. The company's three-pronged strategy is to collect data, process data, and subsequently create product experiences. The Corrigon deal will help with the latter two aims.

Evan Niu, CFA has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends eBay. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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